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A Sad, Sad, Sad Day! ~ My Max is Gone

May 9, 2008

I miss you and love you, puppy dog.
I honest to goodness cannot remember when I felt so ill, heartbroken, sad and defeated all in one day. We lost our precious dog Max ~ the best dog in the entire world~ today.

It started innocently enough on Wednesday night. He didn’t finish his dinner which was extremely unusual. Then after I got the girls to bed, Max started throwing up. After the first time, I got him outside where he threw up again.

It’s not the first time he’s gotten sick and I just figured it wouldn’t be the last either. Thursday morning I found another pile of barf on the floor and noticed he was having a hard time walking.

I knew something was wrong and debated loading everyone up and heading to San Diego so I had family back-up if Max was truly sick and needed medication or constant monitoring. I decided it was way too much work to drive three and a half hours with both kids and potentially a puking dog. So instead I went next door and blurted out to the neighbors something about needing a vet for Max.

Susan, my neighbor told me she knew of one locally and volunteered her son Eddie to go with me. {Just a side note, the Husband is out of town for 30 days for training for work.} Eddie, bless his soul agreed to go with me, not knowing what was even going on.

So we took Max {we equals me, the Big One, the Little One and Eddie carrying the 70-pound terrier}. We were quite the sight bombarding the Vet’s office. {Southern Kern Vet Clinic} We decide they will do some X-rays and blood work to try and figure out what was going on. It was obvious to everyone that my sweet, sweet Max was not feeling well.

After an agonizing four hours, I called the Vet for the verdict. He told me there was “nothing catastrophically wrong” with Max. His white blood cell counts were high, his liver enzymes were high and it looked as if there was a mass on his liver. He recommended bringing Max home with some antibiotics and see if he just had a weird infection. If in the morning he wasn’t well, the Vet recommended either sedating Max and getting another X-ray or doing an ultra sound to determine the problems.

On Thursday night, Max was immobile. He wouldn’t move from the spot he was in. I stayed with him until about 11 p.m. and then went up to bed. I slept off an on and finally came down at 5 a.m. to check on him. He was in the exact same spot I had left him in. I patted him, told him I loved him and left him alone. When I came back downstairs at 7 a.m. Max was in the play room. I had left him in the living room. There was a small glimmer of hope that he was feeling better.

Then I saw it. There was a trail of black sludgy poop from the living room to the play room, but at least I knew he could walk. I called the Vet and told them I wanted an ultrasound. My fabulous friend, Karen, pointed out that what would probably happen if we did the X-ray was that it would be inconclusive and we’d have to do the ultrasound anyway. She was right.

I went next door to summon Eddie again and beg him to come with me. My 70-pound lump of love was too much for me to handle with both kids. He graciously agreed, canceling an appointment he had.

We ended up having to wait at the Vet {Quartz Hill Vet Clinic} for an hour just to drop him off. Apparently everybody else’s dog got sick today too.

They explained that they would be starting the procedure in about 30 minutes and that it would take about 30 minutes to do the procedure. I assumed they would call me in about an hour or so.

My sister and mom made the drive up and had just gotten to the house when I noticed it had been almost two hours since we left him. I told them what was happening and then I said it had been two hours so I knew something was wrong. They tried to assure me that the Vet’s office was just running late or dealing with some other issues and not to worry. Not 10 minutes later, the phone rang.

I could tell immediately from the Vet’s tone that something terrible had happened. She was very hesitant and then finally said, “we lost him.”

I screamed and collapsed on the ground in tears which of course set my mom off and freaked the Big One out. She was very concerned and I was trying to be a good mom and not freak her out more. But I failed miserably. Max was my first baby. I had had him for 10 years.

At some point my sister took the phone and spoke to the Vet while I tried unsuccessfully to control my emotions.

After an hour or so, I was ready to go say good-bye. My sister drove me while my mom watched the girls. It was so heartbreaking to see my Max lying there. He looked very peaceful and calm. But he was gone and I am just so, so, so sad.

Apparently after the ultrasound was completed, he started throwing up and then according to the vet, he just “stopped.” Everything stopped. He went into cardiac arrest. She said they got his heart re-started two times, but just couldn’t get him back.

The ultrasound points to lymphoma. His heart, liver, kidneys and lymph nodes were all enlarged. That coupled with the elevated white blood cells indicate cancer. We saw the x-rays and were astonished at how big his heart was.

Well, I wasn’t really all that surprised he was the sweetest, most wonderful dog in the world. I love you Max. And miss you terribly.

This was our Christmas 2006 picture. You can’t see the Little One because she was in my tummy. 🙂


The Max story continues here.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    May 10, 2008 4:51 am

    Joyce I am so sorry and cried as I read about Max. He was very good and so sweet and gentle. I’m sending a big hug your way.

  2. KirstyB permalink
    May 10, 2008 9:55 am

    Joyce…I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. We lost our first pet pretty much the same way and it was heartbreaking. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Sending huge hugs form Vegas!

  3. dogdaysblog permalink
    May 10, 2008 10:39 pm

    I am so deeply sorry to hear about your recently loss of your beloved dog Max. Terriers are a special breed. We lost our oldest miniature schnauzer in October of last year. I know what your going through and how deep the pain rips into your soul. All I can promise is that in time, the pain numbs, but your precious little Max will live on in your memories.

  4. fixitmommy permalink*
    May 27, 2008 6:41 am

    Thank you for all your kind words. We are getting better each day.


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